AP News

Broadcaster Belo's 2Q profit jumps by 43 percent

DALLAS (AP) — Television station owner Belo Corp. said Friday that second-quarter profit surged 43 percent with a boost from political advertising in a hot U.S. Senate campaign in Texas.

The company, based in Dallas, said spot revenue, which includes money from political ads, was rising by a high-teens percentage in the third quarter, which began July 1.

Second-quarter net income was $25.9 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with $18.1 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $177.6 million.

The consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet was for earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $173.3 million.

Political advertising brought in $9.5 million, including $5 million for the U.S. Senate primary in Texas on May 29. A year ago, it accounted for $1.2 million.

The top two Texas Republican primary finishers face a runoff Tuesday and have been advertising heavily in July, which is showing up in Belo's spot revenue for the third quarter.

Employee and corporate costs rose, but spending on programming and other operating costs was down 8.5 percent, mostly due to lower syndicated-programming costs.

The company had $887 million in debt on June 30, including $176 million due next May.

Belo owns 20 television stations, including major network affiliates in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, New Orleans, St. Louis and Portland, Ore.

The company's shares rose 55 cents, or 8.8 percent, to close at $6.83.

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